Allegri: Madrid favourites, but…

Max Allegri admits Real Madrid “are the favourites” but insists Juventus “have great self-esteem and belief” that they can win the Champions League.

Speaking at a Press conference as part of ‘Media Day’ for Saturday’s Final, Allegri began on a poignant note, remembering the 39 people that died – many of whom Juve fans – during the Heysel Stadium disaster, 32 years to the day.

“Before talking about the Champions League Final, I want to remind you about what happened on May 29, 1985, when an evening of sport turned into a tragedy,” began the Coach.

“I’d like to remind you of those people [who died] and devote a few seconds of silence to the families involved. Thank you.

“Cardiff? We have to prepare for the game without the anxiety of having to prepare for it every day, otherwise we won’t be ready.

“We aren’t the favourites, it’s a Champions League Final against a team that have won two Champions Leagues in three years and will be contesting their third Final in four years.

“We have great self-esteem and belief that we can do it, but they’re the favourites.

“BBC? It can also be Buffon-Bonucci-Chiellini. We’ll see … there’s also Benatia.

“It’ll be a great final, and the players’ qualities and details will make the difference.

“My players are fantastic, they’ve had an extraordinary season and I must thank them.

“But now we need one last effort, we must have even more motivation when facing them.

“For us, it hasn’t been easy. We’ve filled our schedule as much as possible by winning the Coppa Italia and League.

“Words? At this time, there’s no need to say anything, only what needs to be done.

“It’s Monday, we have five days until the game and we have to see how the week goes. We’re in good physical condition and mentally we couldn’t be any better.

“Maturity? We’ve improved a lot in this regard. We now understand when to flick the switch.

“You can’t always keep it on, you have to do it at the right time. The important thing is that we flick it on Saturday night.

“We’ve all grown, from management to squad level. I’ve grown, we’ve all grown together.

“We have to do without anxiety because anxiety consumes energy, but now, all we have to do is win the trophy.

“It’s an important game, but we still have to do the things that we’ve done over the years. Negativity brings negativity, positivity leads to positivity.

“When I arrived, there was an air of negativity that worried me. Juventus haven’t lost six Finals, they’ve played in eight: the important thing is to turn up.

“Juventus are in the right place at the right time, after that we have to be good and lucky. Any anxiety and negativity makes me feel uncomfortable.

“Madrid? In addition to their XI, they have important alternatives … Asensio, Morata and all the others.

“Casemiro then gave them great balance. Of course, if Bale or Isco plays, something changes.

“They’ve grown a lot in the second half of the season, and we have to congratulate Zidane for that.”